In the hundreds of matches played this year, there were just as many wins. Some were by walkover, some by retirement, but the most memorable often come when a title is won, a trophy is lifted, a dream is realized and history is made. Here are the top 12 most memorable wins of the year:
Honorable Mention – Rocking Rakuten: Kei Nishikori defeated Milos Raonic 7-6, 3-6, 6-0 to become the first Japanese player to win the Rakuten Japan Open.
Honorable Mention – Czech Closer: Radek Stepanek defeated Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 to clinch the Davis Cup title for the Czech Republic with a 3-2 win over Spain.
12. Historic Hev: Heather Watson defeated Kai-Chen Chang 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 in over three hours to win Osaka, her first WTA title and become the first Brit to win a WTA singles title since 1988.
11. A Master Finally: David Ferrer defeated Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-3 to win the Paris Masters – his career first Masters title.
10. Vika Victorious: In her first Grand Slam final, Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 in an hour and 22 minutes to win the Australian Open, her first Grand Slam, and clinch the WTA No.1 ranking.
9. Golden Girl: Yaroslava Shvedova defeated Sara Errani 6-0, 6-4 in the third round of Wimbledon. The third round of a Slam may not be the most memorable occasion, but Shvedova did it in memorable style, becoming the first player in the Open Era to win a set without dropping a single point (a Golden Set).
8. Wildcard Champions: Wildcards Jonathan Marray and Freddie Nielsen defeated Robert Lindstedt and Horica Tecau 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 to become the first men’s wildcard pair in Wimbledon history to win the doubles title.
7. Double Trouble: Serena Williams defeated Aga Radwanska 6–1, 5–7, 6–2 to win the Wimbledon singles title and later, with her sister Venus, defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-5, 6-4 to win the Wimbledon doubles title.
6. Career Slam Accomplished: Maria Sharapova defeated Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2 to win the French Open and complete a Career Grand Slam.
5. Murraculous: Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in 4 hours 54 minutes to win the US Open, his first Grand Slam and the first singles Slam for Great Britain since 1936.
4. Wimbledon Reign: Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in a 3 hour and 24 minute match that took place half outside and half indoors to win Wimbledon and his 17th Grand Slam title.
3. HIS7ORY: Rafael Nadal started playing Novak Djokovic in the French Open final on Sunday but didn’t defeat him 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 until Monday due to rain to win his 7th Roland Garros trophy, breaking his tie with Bjorn Borg.
2. God Save The Gold: Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 to win Olympic gold for Great Britain at London 2012 (at Wimbledon).
1. Deja Vu Double: Winning twice at Wimbledon was so nice, Serena Williams did it twice (within one month). She defeated Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 to win Olympic Singles Gold and, with her sister Venus, defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4 to win Olympic Doubles Gold.
(Photos: Getty Images, AP, Reuters, The Guardian, Davis Cup, Sports Illustrated, USA Today)